Thursday, April 16, 2009

Antigus Classic Yacht Regatta 2009 starts with a bang


Our boat Ocean Nomad managed to finish our birthday charter and get up to the start of the 2009 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta just in time to get a spot on the dock next to all the other traditional Carriacou Sloops. This year there are a few from Grenada missing but we have a few more in Antigua to make up. In fact while we were still there my good friend Martin Dudley arrived in from his jubilant sail all the way from Carriacou on his beautifully refurbished Carriacou Sloop. It was dark, but from what I could tell the boat looked lovely.

Jason, Trevor and I did the charter but when we got back to Jolly Harbour Trevor left the boat and we were joined by Harry Ingram. Harry was put into a wheelchair by MS after he turned 40 and got into open water sailing then just to satisfy his need for adventure. Up until then he had been a rock and ice climber and instructor and needed something else to do. He ended up being a regular onboard the boats of the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Check out their website here. The Jubilee has a slogan as "Sailing for All" and generally invites people with all abilities to sail beside each other as a team. Harry made the Atlantic crossing to Antigua on board the Tenacious some time ago and wanted to be part of the Adventure Antigua sailing team when he heard we were looking for more crew. Harry is from Aberdeen and like most of the Scots men I have met he's full of stories. One tale he told me yesterday is that a bunch of his friends from the Tenacious read my blog, and to prove it he produced an amazing bottle of aged Scotch whiskey which was sent out to me from them. Thank you Harry and if he was telling the truth then thanks to the rest of the gang who are reading! I will enjoy it thinking of your team later! You are a brave bunch of sailors indeed! I have not sailed "over the pond" yet but can imagine what it was like.
We got our Mount Gay Antigua Classic Sailing hats and enjoyed some rum while watching the 2008 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta video done by my good friends at . It was a great vid and got us all in the mood for sailing.

Today we have a bit more work to do on the boat before going for a proper sail in the afternoon to get ready for the first proper race tomorrow. There is a single handed race today, but I’m not sure that we will have the boat ready. We are doing a tiny bit of $#@%^&!* today and I’m not sure it will be dry in time. I won't say the word because every time we do some $#@%^&!* it rains all over the job. In fact last week we had most of our work ruined by the first proper rains in 8 weeks. We ended up sailing over to enjoy the Easter holiday in Barbuda with a funny looking Carriacou Sloop.

Of course Barbuda was fantastic and most people didn't see how funny looking Ocean Nomad was. With views like this how would anyone care about what the boat looked like? Anyway, we came out the water for a fresh coat of you know what on Tuesday and of course it rained again late Tuesday. Somehow we managed to clean it up and make her presentable just in time to be launched yesterday morning at 8 am in Jolly Harbour. We were 2 minutes late for our 9 am day sailing charter for "J" birthday. "J" turned eleven yesterday and took a bunch of his friends out for some proper sailing. Ocean Nomad was scary fast on the way down and I am sure that the new bottom $#@%^ is gonna help us kick some other bottoms this weekend. Wish us luck!